Sunday, October 22, 2006

House of Faith - Part 3 - The Believing Pillar

WELCOME

SCRIPTURE READING

Mark 11:23, 24

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT AND UNDERSTANDING

We understand that although we are in a very physical existence, that there is a spiritual and unseen universe as well.

And in this spiritual unseen world there is a war going on right now as we speak.

You are either on the enemy’s side, the allied side, or you are going to be a trophy for the enemy.

There are no neutral grounds in the spiritual realm.

So we’ve discussed how God has prepared those who belong to Him.

He has given us spiritual and powerful armor.

This armor of God is ours; it can be used by those who belong to God.

You remember the story of David as a young man when he faced Goliath.

The King offered David his armor because David was about to go into battle.

But David, understanding that God was with him, solely relied on the armor of God to protect him in the battle.

When we move in the name of the Lord, nothing, nor any one, can come against us.

We are children of the Most High, and greater is He that is within us, than he in the world!

We have nothing to fear when the Lord is moving us.

We are the Kingdom of God on earth; we are the Body of Christ.

Romans 8:14 – 16

14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son-ship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.”

We, have no fear, because the Spirit of God is in us!

How do we acquire this armor of God?

What must we do to qualify to receive it?

This is where the house of faith comes in.

The armor of God is our protection, like a roof protects those under it, so does the armor of God. It protects those under Gods armor.

So to qualify for the armor of God, we must first accept Jesus Christ.

Christ becomes our corner stone.

And from that cornerstone, God builds us up with His word, thus forming the foundation which is the word of God that testifies through the prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ.

Our foundation is strong and solid!

Those who build upon this foundation are like wise men, and their house will withstand the coming storm.

Once we accept Christ and begin to read the word of God, through God building us we begin to set up our first of 4 pillars that will support the roof on our house.

When we read the word of God, our thinking begins to change. We begin to see ourselves through the light of Christ as opposed to the light of the world which tells us EVERYTHING is OK as long as you’re not hurting anyone, regardless if you are hurting yourself.

During this time God is building us, we receive what is called DISCERNMENT.

This is a God given ability that is given to believers so they know what the truth is, and what are lies.

Using our discernment, we can begin to filter our thoughts in our thinking processes. This first pillar is set firmly on the foundation that Christ and the word of God has built.

We begin to throw out the trash, and only dwell on Godly thoughts.

Remember the scripture last week;

Philippians 4:7 – 8

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”

We use our discernment to think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

This is what we dwell on in our minds.

Everything else, goes in the trash.

As we continue to read, filtering out the trash from our minds, God continues to build us, and through the word of God, we begin to believe in the word.

This begins our 2nd pillar in our house.

Because we changed our thinking, our believing pillar begins to appear.

This pillar is founded on the firm foundation of Christ and the word of God as well.

This pillar is a result of the first pillar of thinking, and will be affected if anything happens to the first pillar.

If you allow garbage into your thinking, guess what, your pillar becomes weak, and what you believe will be effected by what you think.

See how the previous pillar effects the building up of the following pillar?

This is why it is so important to God that you only think and dwell on Holy and Godly things.

If you have not changed your thinking since you have accepted Christ, then you can’t truly believe.

Christ changes lives!

If your life hasn’t been changed since you’ve accepted Christ, then there is something wrong.

You need to examine yourself to see if you are truly seeking God through His word and changing your thinking, filtering out the garbage.

Otherwise, you cannot experience this second pillar, believing, or, faith.

Jesus is trying to tell us something here in our scripture reading today.

Mark 11:23, 24

“I tell you the truth, …

Incidentally, in case you don’t have discernment, Jesus tells us that He’s telling us the truth.

Knowing that Jesus doesn’t lie anyways, if He tells you He’s telling you the truth, what He means is, “This is really, really important, and I want you to listen closely!”

if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen

it will be done for him.

And does not doubt in his heart…

Your heart is where you store what? The Word of God. The base of belief.

And if you say “Go throw yourself into the sea…”

Say, where do we speak from? The overflow of our…heart, the overflow of our belief.

How do we fill our heart? Reading God’s word…filling our thoughts with Him.

Thinking on those things we spoke about earlier. Dweeling on God and His goodness!

If we fill our thinking with the Word of God, it fills our hearts, this is where we believe.

If our hearts are full, we speak from that overflow.

Jesus says, if we speak from this overflow, what we speak will what? Happen!

And we don’t have to do it, Jesus says, “It will be done for you!”

What we speak, will be the Will of God that we have filled our hearts with.

The will of God we learned from His Holy Word.

How many of us here today have mountains in our lives?

How many of us realize that we can’t move a mountain?

How many know that God can!

The reason Jesus used the word picture of a mountain, is because He wants us to realize that the things in our lives that seem impossible to deal with, or the obstacles are to immense to move, are not impossible to God for those who believe. For those who have faith.

Where does the Faith come from?

The Word of God.

The road ahead may look treacherous, hard to travel, difficult terrain.

Maybe even IMPOSSIBLE!

But Jesus makes a promise,

IT WILL BE DONE FOR THEM!

Who here wants God to take care of their mountain for them?

24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

I have seen miracles through prayer requests to God!

They asked that their mountain be removed and cast into the sea, and God ANSWERED BECAUSE of their belief!

I can think of many occasions of Christ healing people in the Bible, and in everyone I remember, it says “because you believed, or your belief has made you whole ...”

Do you have a problem believing in your life?

Do you plainly see the mountain, but no path around it?

Is your heart, or belief feeling desperate and weak?

You are not alone.

LUKE 24:1-27 – On the road to Emmaus

Two weary travelers, feeling defeated because the one they though would save them, had just been crucified.

They were slow to believe in their hearts because they did not study the scriptures as they should.

Jesus reminds them of this fact when He walks with them.

He shares the Word of God that they had forgotten, and explains to them what it meant.

Jesus warned the Pharisees the same thing;

“You are in error because you do not know the scriptures, or the power of God.”

The scriptures, the Holy Word of God, this is where our belief comes from.

Our belief, our faith, comes from what we fill our heart with.

Remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

If you are slow to believe, you need to fill your heart with God’s Holy Word.

You need to read your Bible more!

Fill your thinking with God’s word, and that will fill your heart.

Your belief will magnify and grow and overflow into the next pillar, the speaking!

And as Jesus said, I TELL YOU THE TRUTH…SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN….BELIEVING IN YOUR HEART…AND IT WILL BE DONE FOR YOU!

John 20:25

25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
But he (Thomas) said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."”

John 20:27

“Then he (Jesus) said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

Jesus is telling us today…STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE!

We are suffering needlessly in the world today because we do not turn to our Father and ask.

We are in turmoil because we do not speak against those things which come against us in this world.

We lack in our lives because we do not believe the Word of God.

James 4:2

“…You do not have, because you do not ask God.”

It’s time we stop doubting…and believe the Word of God, acknowledge that we are the Children of God, and we have been given power and authority in this world, as the Body of Christ, made Holy unto Him, to BE the Kingdom of God on earth…right now…today!

Jesus tells us “Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.”

This is our faith. And through reading the scriptures, our faith can grow and fill our hearts with what our mind and thinking is filled with.

1 Thessalonians 2:13

“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

The Word of God is AT WORK in you who believe!

Do you want miracles and God working in your life?

Then you must believe the Word of God.

Read God’s word and your faith will grow, and through your faith God will work in your life!

John 7:37 – 39

37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

We receive the Holy Spirit by believing in Christ.

Nothing is possible in our lives without the Holy Spirit.

Unless we believe, we tie God’s hands and He cannot work in our lives.

Our hearts should not only be filled with Gods word, but there should be flowing out of us streams of living water!

Is the Holy Spirit alive and flowing in you today?

What is overflowing in your heart?

Is it Gods word and Holy Spirit?

Jesus tells us more of the truth in;

John 10:2-5

1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."”

This is why God’s Word says the Elders and Pastor are supposed to come from the congregation.

You cannot bring in strangers and expect the sheep to follow him.

This is why the Apostles went from town to town, starting churches and choosing elders and pastors from among them, then moving on to another town to do it again and again.

But in our modern church society, we want to bring strangers in and expect them to lead the flock.

This isn’t God’s way, but the precepts of man.

God told the Pharisees that “You nullify the Word of God with the teachings of man.”

This scripture here also shows us an important fact…there is only one way to heaven.

Do you think you’re going to get into heaven by any other way but the gate?

There is no other way but through the gate, and Christ is the shepherd at the gate.

We listen for His voice.

Do you know your shepherds voice?

Do you belong to Him?

Years ago I hear God’s voice for the first time.

I wanted God to use me; I wanted to serve Him in my life.

I was praying and He said to me, you will help a family for Christmas. They have 4 children, and if you don’t help, they will not have a Christmas.

I asked who they were, but got nothing else.

Months went by, but I held on to my faith and what I believed to be God’s voice.

My mother overheard 2 women talking in a store one day, and one said, If someone doesn’t do something for these 4 kids, they will not have a Christmas this year.

Almost to the word, what God had said to me.

Months after God spoke I had my answer. And I obeyed.

I heard His voice and recognized it.

And most importantly, I responded to it!

I was a DOER of God’s Word.

And it was because of this encounter that to this day, Terri and I do this for families every year.

Something I would like to continue to do with the new church as well.

We listen to our shepherd’s voice; He leads us beside still waters.

He protects us and guides us through the safest path.

Leading us in His direction.

Do you know His voice? Jesus says;

John 10:26 – 30

“26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."”

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